Verizon Wireless Strengthens Chicago Product Offerings with Two New Pricing Plans

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless company, strengthened its product offerings in Chicago today with the introduction of two new calling plans that provide customers with the best local and regional calling options.

These new plans, coming just one month after Verizon Wireless began operating in the Chicago market, follow the introduction in July of the company's SingleRateSM national calling plan and Mobile Web, which gives customers the greatest available personalized wireless access to Internet content. These products, along with Verizon Wireless' continuing efforts to improve its outstanding network, demonstrate the company's deep commitment to being the leading wireless provider in Chicagoland and to providing its customers with unparalleled products and services.

Customers may now choose among these three exceptional calling plans:

  • SingleRateSM Call across the country using the nation's largest wireless network, operating in 96 out of the top 100 markets, at one low rate with a variety of plans beginning as low as $35.00 a month for 150 anytime minutes without roaming or long-distance charges, with an annual contract.

  • SingleRateSM Great Lakes Call within a vast eight-state Midwest area, stretching from Ohio to Iowa, Minnesota to Missouri, at one low rate with plans beginning as low as $19.99 a month for 50 anytime minutes without roaming or long-distance charges, with an annual contract. This plan offers a wide array of options to complement the SingleRateSM national calling plan.

  • DIGITALCHOICE Call within the entire state of Illinois at one low rate with plans beginning as low as $19.99 a month for 75 anytime minutes, plus 1,000 night and weekend minutes, with no roaming charges applied to any of those minutes.

The SingleRateSM and SingleRateSM Great Lakes plans have the option of purchasing the Audiovox 9000 tri-mode digital phone-with free activation on a two-year contract-for the discounted price of $69.00. The following features are also included, free of charge: voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call waiting-caller ID and a three-month trial of Mobile Web.

The DIGITALCHOICE plan comes with a free dual-mode digital phone (free activation on a two-year contract) and all the features noted above, except caller ID and Mobile Web. DIGITALCHOICE customers also may purchase the Audiovox 9000 tri-mode digital phone at the discounted price of $69.00.

"This is an incomparable value for Chicagoland wireless users," said Greg Klimek, president, Chicago Region, Verizon Wireless. "You just can't beat these pricing plans. Verizon Wireless gives the customer a superior network coverage area at a better price."

Klimek noted that the eight-state SingleRateSM Great Lakes coverage Verizon Wireless provides customers in Chicagoland is the largest regional calling area available. Also, the company offers customers more choice by offering the most pricing options.

"We listened to our customers and delivered the value they asked for," Klimek said. "Verizon Wireless is in a unique position to do this. Because we are the number-one wireless provider in the U.S., we have the ability to provide customers with competitive calling plans, a greater variety of rate packages, the latest innovative products and services and wide-area coverage."

Among these new services is Mobile Web, which combines the mobility of wireless communications with access to World Wide Web-based information and the ability to easily personalize that information. Mobile Web is designed to meet each customer's specific personal and business needs with a simple intuitive format. This makes it easy for users to customize what they want to see on their handset. They can tailor their content either directly from their handset or via desktop using the web site.

"The introduction of Mobile Web marks a new era in the convergence of wireless and the Internet," Klimek said. "This new service gives users the most convenient way to wirelessly access the content they want from the Internet. At the same time, Mobile Web lays the groundwork for the next evolution of wireless Internet applications."

In addition, Ameritech Cellular™, which is now are part of Verizon Wireless, has received the J.D. Power and Associates Award for Highest Overall Customer Satisfaction Among Wireless Users in Chicago for the past five years. These awards are based on consumer responses and look at the cost of service, call quality, pricing options, corporate capability, customer service and the cost of roaming, handsets and billing.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at:

J.D. Power and Associates 1995-1999 Wireless Customer Satisfaction StudiesSM. 1999 study based on responses from 10,609 wireless telephone subscribers in 22 of the top U.S. markets. Chicago Market covers Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties in the state of Illinois; Lake and Porter Counties in the State of Indiana.

Ameritech Cellular™ is a trademark owned by Ameritech Corporation and used pursuant to a license from Ameritech Corporation.